Studies and Texts, Haham Moses Gaster, London 1925-28 (47934)

First Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 47934
Title (English): Studies and Texts in Folklore, Magic, Medieval Romance, Hebrew Apocrypha
Note: First Edition
Author: Haham Moses Gaster
City: London
Publisher: Maggs Bros
Publication Date: 1925-28
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20190712/b107a8de-70a4-4d10-a345-39bb6cf44b94_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20190712/be9001a6-cdf5-4ca6-9180-ea8989d2049e_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20190712/aae7d560-cfd9-40a3-802e-e089eab861b0_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

First edition. 3 volumes, quarto, 220:144 mm., wide marguns, library stamps. A very good copy nbound in contemporary cloth over boards, rubbed.


Detail Description

Moses Gaster (1856–1939) was a rabbi, scholar, and Zionist leader. He was born in Bucharest and studied at the University of Breslau and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, where he was ordained in 1881. He taught Romanian language and literature in the University of Bucharest, 1881–85, published a popular history of Romanian literature, Literatura Popularǎ Românǎ (1883), and began his great chrestomathy of Romanian literature Chrestomatie Românǎ (2 vols., 1891). In 1885, because of his protests against the treatment of the Jews, he was expelled from Romania. He settled in England where he was appointed to teach Slavonic literature at Oxford University in 1886. In 1887 he was appointed haham of the English Sephardi community. Gaster's abilities as a scholar and an orator gave him an outstanding position both in the Anglo-Jewish community and in those areas of intellectual life in which he became a recognized authority, e.g., folklore and Samaritan literature. However, Gaster had a stubborn and combative personality, and this led to an unwillingness to retreat from a position once taken, which did not enhance his reputation. When he was principal of Judith Montefiore College, Ramsgate (1891–96), he endeavored to make it an institution for training rabbis, but the attempt failed. In 1918, after disagreements with his congregation, Gaster retired from the office of haham. Gaster was active in Hibbat Zion and later in the Zionist movement. He accompanied L. Oliphant on his visits to Romania, Constantinople, and Erez Israel, and also played a considerable part in the establishment of Zikhron Ya'akov and Rosh Pinnah in Palestine, the first colonies settled by Romanian Jews. He became one of Herzl's early supporters but opposed him on the Uganda Scheme, and this also brought him into conflict with the leaders of the English Zionist Federation, of which he was president in 1907. Throughout these years Gaster was a prominent figure at Zionist Congresses, being elected a vice president at the first four. It was to Gaster that Herbert Samuel, then in the British Cabinet, turned when he wished to establish contact with the Zionists. The conference held at Gaster's home in February 1917 between the Zionist leaders and Sir Mark Sykes of the British Foreign Office was an important stage in the events leading to the Balfour Declaration. After World War I he returned to his dissociation from official Zionist policy; this was partly the result of his failure to satisfy his ambition of becoming the official leader of the organization.


Hebrew Description:    



EJ; B. Schindler (ed.), Occident and Orient… Gaster Anniversary Volume (1936), includes bibliography